Why look after your gut?
The health of our gut (and our gut microbes) can influence pretty much every other system and organ in our body.
For starters, we know the gut is closely linked to the immune system, partly because around 80% of our immune tissue is found in and around the gut wall. Poor gut health is thought to be a factor in allergies and autoimmune conditions.
Why are oats a gut-friendly food?
Oats can be a fantastic gut-friendly food as part of a healthy, varied diet.
Here are two of their digestion-boosting benefits.
1. Healthy bowel movements
Most simple of all, the high fibre content of oats helps us have regular and healthy bowel movements. As well as helping to remove toxins and wastes efficiently from the body, healthy bowel movements reduce our risk of problems such as haemorrhoids and disease in the colon.
2. Feeding your gut bacteria
Within oats fibre represents six to nine per cent of the oat grain, half of which is the soluble fibre, beta glucan. Beta glucan is a soluble dietary fibre that’s strongly linked to improving cholesterol levels and boosting heart health.
The beta-glucan in oats forms a gel-like substance when it mixes with water. This solution coats the stomach and digestive tract.
The coating feeds good bacteria in the gut, which increases their growth rate and can contribute to a healthy gut.